Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day

Rather than head out to Washington DC to watch Barack Obama become President of the United States, I blogged about it from the warmth of my cozy and comfortable home. Here’s it is, unedited so be warned:

Today, January 20th, 2009, marks History-In-The-Making as Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States of America. In honor of the day, I’ve got my television streaming NBC’s Today Show non-stop so as not to miss a thing as it all unfolds, along with my handy ‘lil Dell mini and can of Diet Coke perched nearby for blogging purposes as this whole event happens. The anticipation is almost tangible, a feeling you just want to freeze-frame for all time. Whoa.

So what exactly are my thoughts? Up until this moment (9:25 a.m.), I’ve watched as Barack and Michelle attended church services at St. John’s, Barack quite the gentleman holding opening the limousine door for his wife who is dressed so elegantly in the ‘happy’ yellow ensemble. Barack is all smiles for the press, confident as ever. As the crowds gather for the official ceremony, cameras focus in on famous faces such as Mohammed Ali and John Cusack. People who underestimated the cold temperatures are turning away after standing outside for several hours. Oh and Hillary just arrived. (Nice shades, btw.)

240,000 tickets were sold for this occasion – wow! What a powerful moment, no wonder so many want to witness it firsthand. All I know is that watching the inauguration in the comfort of my warm home seems so much more practical than standing out there in the cold. The view is perfect, too! Exactly how I want to remember history, thanks very much.

Back to the events… here come Bush and Barack, sealed inside the Presidential limousine and off goes the motorcade. Did I just hear women screaming? Nice. Blue #1 license plates on the limo. Crowds cheer alongside the road. Music plays as they head up to Capitol Hill. I wonder what Bush & Obama are talking about in there – Tom Brokaw thinks it must be a ‘chatty ride’. But for some reason, watching is making me hungry… see? Watching from home means fresh snacks, too! Cheney in a wheelchair taking longer than usual getting out of the car. (Back injury while moving boxes.) Joe Biden smiles on arrival. Ray Negan, Mayor of New Orleans grins and waves. Reggie Love, Obama’s personal assistant & carrier of Purell. Chief Justices appear. Mondale, Gore, former Vice Presidents & wives walking to the VIP section. George (walking tentatively w/cane) & Barbara Bush, Jimmy & Roselyn Carter, Bill & Hillary Clinton, “Former President Traffic Jam” as the stop to chat in hallway. All kinds of fanfare as each former president is introduced. The Bush daughters & son-in-law.

Back at the White House, moving vans go in/out, as the Bush family changes hand with the Obamas.

Lea & Sasha, the new First Daughters, and First Grandmother (what? No introduction?), seated behind bullet proof glass. Laura Bush, Lynn Cheney. Almost everyone in their places with bright smiling faces, Michelle Obama makes her way to the blue carpet carrying a red box, possibly containing the Lincoln Bible, “air kisses” to guests in the VIP section. (Love the green gloves.) George W. Bush and Dick Cheney not far behind, hand-shaking and chatting with others. Next, Joe Biden all debonair in his striking blue tie. President-elect Barack Obama walks down the hallway, looking humble & solemn, heading for the blue carpet… chills run through me as the camera pans out toward the Washington Munument with the thousands of people waiting, cheering, waving. House & Senate Representatives are introduced. Trumpets sound as everyone gets seated. “Ladies and gentlement the president-elect of the United states Barack H. Obama.” Obama enters, shaking hands with VIP’s, smiling and greeting all, looking calm and content.

Diane Feinstein speaking to the masses in the National Mall. I’m glued to the television but can’t resist the urge to start lunch, thus the Sesame Chicken Lean Cuisine in the microwave. Prayer delivered, and a fiery one at that. There go the chills again – this guy’s good. Our Father… Amen. Aretha Franklin with the big gray bow hat sings “My Country Tis of The”. The chills again, and I’m starting to get teary-eyed. Wondering if the CK’s are watching this in school right now. It’s official – a tear actually rolled down…

Now the oath of office for Vice President-elect Joe Biden, then he steps aside to kiss/shake hands with family.

Yo Yo Ma, McGill, Montero and Perlman playing “Simple Gifts”! What a unique inaugural performance! Now this was completely unexpected. CG will want to see this… if she’s not already watching. How amazingly beautiful… tearing up again.

Obama officially became the President 4 minutes ago, even though he’s just now taking the oath of office at 12:04 p.m. He stumbles over some of the oath, yet ends strong with Michelle at his side. Cannons fire, music plays, crowds dance & cheer, Then his formal introduction as the 44th President of the United States. Crowd chants “Obama!” as;he begins his speech. Confidence abounds as he delivers talk of renewal. He’s even speaking my language with technology talk. And is that a First Daughter taking a video of her dad with her camera? lol How strange to see George W. Bush as a member of the audience listening to Obama. Wonder what’s going through George’s mind… Now our new president is speaking on military, government, parents, firefighters, courage, patriotism, return to responsibility, God’s grace and call to us… 18 minutes & 10 seconds, and the speech is over. Obama hugs George W., kisses wife & family. Did First Daughter camera girl just say something to dad about her video? Looked like it – maybe she ran out of space? Possibly.

Elizabeth Alexander, poet. “Praise Song for the Day”… then a Pastor (?) gives closing prayer (funny, this is getting to be like a church service)… finally, the singing of the National Anthem. Glimpse of Barack & Michelle singing, along with flags flying all around. More chills… what an energizing experience this has been.

4 comments so far

  1. ginabeana on

    From 9-11:30 I watched via CNN and Facebook. I can’t wait to tell my furture children that I watched it via something called facebook! At 11:30 my firm set up TVs and provided lunch. It was really awe inspiring to see people I work with with tears in their eyes. We all applauded the minute he was sworn in. I love the unity.

  2. incognitocatholic on

    @ginabeana – How excellent – CNN, Facebook and catering! I feel like I was right there with you, only eating Lean Cuisine instead of what you had.

  3. JeriM on

    One of my friends reported that his work network got bogged down because so many folks were streaming video of the inauguration.

    Instead of a heavy-handed “back to work” message, management simply asked if folks could gather in groups to watch it, so that the network would more available for necessary daily tasks.

    What a great perspective! I wish all employers could be that respectful of the importance of such an event – but probably not.

    Thanks for the liveblog!

  4. incognitocatholic on

    @JeriM – Sounds like you have a great management team there – way to keep productivity up while respecting history-making events. As for my ‘liveblog’, thanks for reading. I’m still finding it difficult NOT to correct the mistakes/typos that I made, but keeping them there maintains the live-ness of it all.

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